Federal Court Dismisses Racketeering Murder Charge after Jury Fails to Convict

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The Los Angeles and Pasadena based offices of Richard G. Novak has won a defense motion to dismiss a racketeering murder charge.

The Law Offices of Richard G. Novak announces that it has won a defense motion to dismiss a murder charge against Vladimir Iraheta and two of his co-defendants for the 2006 alleged homicide of Jose Barajas. The case citation is United States v. Sergio Pantoja, et al., Central District of California Case No. CR 07-1172-DDP. According to official court records, District Judge Dean D. Pregerson dismissed the racketeering murder charge against Mr. Iraheta.

According to official court records, Novak argued that Iraheta was entitled to a dismissal after the government failed to bring Iraheta to trial a second time within the period required by the federal Speedy Trial Act. The first trial, which lasted more than 6 weeks, ended in May 2012 with the jury being unable to reach a verdict on the federal racketeering murder charge. At the beginning of the prosecution, the government initially considered seeking the death penalty against Iraheta and two other defendants for the murder of Barajas, a charge to which they pled not guilty. After the United States decided not to seek the death penalty, the case proceeded to trial. Iraheta and his co-defendants were facing sentences of life in prison without parole if convicted of the murder. According to official court records, none of them were convicted on the murder count, and they await sentencing on other less serious charges.

Novak told the Court that his client should not have a potential murder indictment hanging over his head for the rest of his life, especially after court records state that 8 of 12 jurors said that he was not guilty. According to Novak, the government’s case was based largely on the testimony of cooperating defendants seeking reduced sentences for their own crimes; testimony that was rejected by the 8 jurors who vote to acquit Iraheta and his co-defendants.

The Law Offices of Richard Novak represents individuals in the areas of investment fraud, offenses involving sexual conduct, real estate fraud, tax offenses, mortgage fraud, bank fraud, narcotics distribution, racketeering, crimes of violence, insider trading, health care fraud, and offenses related to immigration laws. The office is based in Pasadena, CA.

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